Arts & CultureBlogCulture Briefs

The 40 Watt Is Getting a Music History Mural

LEAD Athens is working with the 40 Watt Club to install a mural on the music venue’s mostly-blank western wall.

The mural will represent Athens history, according to Airee Hong, who took on the project as part of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce-run leadership class. And not just obvious choices like R.E.M.—it will incorporate the rich history of older African American venues like the Morton Theatre, as well, she said.

“I felt that Athens needed a little more art represented in our community, especially art that shows our love for the music scene,” Hong said. “Our appreciation for the music scene brings a lot of people here, so why not celebrate that?”

The group set up a Facebook page today to promote the project that includes a request for qualifications.

A speaker from the Asheville (NC) Mural Project will visit on Wednesday, Dec. 11 to explain the process of choosing and installing a mural. New techniques allow artists to paint murals in the studio, then quickly install them on-site, Hong said. The 5:30–8 p.m. meeting will also be an opportunity to provide input on what should be included in the mural, she said.

A seven-member committee consisting of 40 Watt owner Barrie Buck and members of LEAD Athens and the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission will choose the artwork. Preference will be given to Athens-based artists and those with Athens ties, Hong said.

Hong hopes to have the mural’s first panel up this spring at a cost of $7,500–$10,000, all privately raised. If it’s successful, five more panels would be installed later.

“I’m raising the money myself with my (LEAD Athens) team,” she said. “I think we could do the whole wall for $50,000.”